Canadian border closure extended until June 21

Haines is 39 miles south of the Canadian Border. (Photo by Henry Leasia/KHNS)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that the Canadian border will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.

On March 20th the U.S. and Canada mutually agreed to close their border to non-essential traffic for 30 days. That closure was extended in April for another 30 days.

During a press conference, Trudeau told reporters that it’s too soon to say if the border closure could extend past June 21st.

“The situation is changing rapidly and we’re adjusting constantly to what is the right measures for Canadians to get the balance right between keeping people safe and restoring that semblance of normality and economic activity that we all rely on,” Trudeau said.

Essential travel for U.S. citizens includes lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S as well as travel for medical reasons, education, necessary work, emergency responses and legal cross-border trade. Recreation and tourism are not considered essential.

Alaskans driving home from the Lower 48 through Canada are exempt from the closure. However, they are required to make the trip without staying in hotels or making stops along the way except for fuel.

According to the Canadian Border Services Agency, border officers ultimately decide whether to allow entry and the purpose of travel is a factor in their decision.